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An essential goal of OpenGL is to provide device independence while still allowing complete access to hardware functionality. The API therefore provides access to graphics operations at the lowest possible level that still provides device independence. In OpenGL, the maximum flexibility provided by individual procedure calls was deemed more important than any inefficiency induced by using those calls. Backward compatibility was seen as one of OpenGL's core strengths, compared to other low-level 3D graphics APIs. All of these extensions were driven by developments in the graphics hardware arena, which changed significantly over the years. The road up Longs Peak can be fairly long and rocky, depending on where you must start. But the view is terrific, and it goes a long way into the future. So, it's definitely worth it. OpenGL Longs Peak will come, and the need for supporting infrastructure will be there.